Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Thoughts on Instagram

Ever since Instagram switched their feed from chronological to whatever this algorithm is, it seems like Instagram has gone from everyone's favorite social media to least favorite. While I'm not a fan of the changes, I still enjoy using Instagram and thought I'd share why.

4 reasons why I still like Instagram, despite the recent changes

It's visual.

I'm a visual person. I love seeing other people's photos and just scrolling through my feed. I get a glimpse into the lives of the people I follow and can just enjoy their photography and get inspired, especially on those days when I'm just too lazy to read.

It's a good way to share photos.

I take so many photos. I've always liked taking photos and I take a ton for me and for different blog posts. Instagram is a great place to share them. It's the best platform I know of to share photos since you create a grid (is that the right word?) of photos rather than just sending photos on Snapchat that disappear after 24 hours or adding photos that get lost in your Twitter feed.

It's not all about numbers.

Or at least it shouldn't be. I know it's easy to get caught up in how many likes you get on your latest post and how many followers you have. Especially with blogging since often times bloggers track these numbers. But these shouldn't be what keeps us going as bloggers. There's always someone with more likes, more followers, more engagement. While I definitely check how many likes I get and engagement on posts, I'm ultimately posting because I like the photo and want to share it with others, not to get X amount of likes or a certain number of followers. If I get them, great. If not, oh well, I shared it because I wanted to

People are using it.

Despite the frustration we may feel because of changes on Instagram, it is still a very popular platform, especially if you're audience is 16-25. Lots of people in that age range prefer Instagram over Facebook and Twitter. At 24, my favorite platforms are Twitter and Instagram. I know my younger siblings (college age) are all about Instagram and Snapchat - they barely use Twitter. Keep your audience in mind and remember that they are most likely checking Instagram...a lot.

What are your thoughts on Instagram? Do you still like it or are you ready to move on?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunken Gardens | Photo Diary

I love spring and all the flowers it brings. The best place to enjoy all the flowers and beauty of spring is at Sunken Gardens. I went there one day last month with my brother and have finally gotten all of the photos together to share with you! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens

photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens

As you walk to the gardens there are rows and rows of yellow tulips. Yellow flowers are my favorite because they just seem so happy. 

At the entrance there are purple, white, and pink tulips in front of this beautiful dome with designs carved into the top. 

photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens

In the middle of April, the gardens were filled with tulips. There were red, yellow, and purple tulips everywhere. There was a lot of space for the flowers that would bloom later in the spring, so I'll have to head back soon!

Do you have any spots like this in your city? Where do you like to go to enjoy spring? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ways to Be More Creative

Being creative is something that always makes me feel happy and fulfilled. I've been trying to do something creative everyday. It doesn't have to be painting a canvas or drawing a portrait to be creative. There are so many little ways to be more creative everyday. If you're looking to be more creative, look through this list for a few ways to add some creativity to your everyday life.

ways to be more creative everyday

1. Join a challenge.

You can make your own 100 Day Challenge or join one on Instagram. The Revision Guide is hosting a fun, easy drawing challenge if you're looking for one on Instagram.

2. Decorate your bullet journal.

Decorate your bullet journal (or planner, or to do lists) with drawings or even stickers. This is something simple, but if you do it everyday it will really help you feel more creative.

3. Handletter a quote.

Try handlettering a favorite quote. There's tons of  handlettering tips and ideas on Pinterest to get you started.

4. Find people who inspire you.

Whether you find people on Instagram to follow or spend more time with creative friends in real life, find people who inspire you to create.

5. Go for a photo walk.

Go for a walk around a park or downtown and take tons of photos.

6. Create for yourself.

Don't feel pressured to post what you create online. We don't have to post everything online, especially if it's going to cause us stress. Focus on creating for yourself. If you want to share you can, if not it's totally okay to create just for yourself.

7. Change it up.

Change up your routine, try something new, challenge yourself to wear a different color or style from what you usually do, or explore a new area. Changing things up will give you new ideas!

8. Make an abstract print.

Whether you're preferred medium is watercolor, paint, digital, or markers - try creating an abstract print. I always feel like abstract prints are a great way to stretch those creative muscles since there's no right or wrong and it feels very freeing.

9. Spend time in nature.

Spending time in nature always makes me feel a bit more inspired. 

10. Spend less time in front of a screen.

Watching TV, scrolling through social media, and just wasting time online are all things that kill creativity. Instead of thinking and being active, we're just sitting there mindlessly consuming. Even cutting down your screen time by 15 minutes will make a difference!

Those are a few ways I'm being more creative. Let me know what you do to be more creative in the comments! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Personal Projects I Want to Do

I've always thought it's important to have personal projects to do outside of school or work. Sadly, last semester I felt so overwhelmed by everything from finishing college to getting certified that I did not give myself any time to work on personal projects. Now that I've got my job and have settled in to it, I've been giving myself more time to work on personal projects and it feels so good. For me,  these personal projects are a part of my self-care as they are things I'm doing for me and things that I enjoy doing. If you're in need of some inspiration for your own personal projects or just like being a bit nosy, here are the personal projects I am working or want to start working on.

Sharing a few personal projects I'm currently working on


I love reading, but I am horrible not very good about making time for it. By the end of the year I want to read 7 books (that would be 1 more book than I read last year). So far I've read a grand total of 0 although I've started several books, I've just never gotten around to finishing them. Now I'm adding reading to my daily to do list in my bullet journal, so hopefully that keeps me motivated and I actually complete a book soon!

Finish my 2016 Photo Album

Last summer I started putting together my photo album for 2016, but stopped when I moved. I want to finish putting this album together so I can have a place for my best photos from last year and then move on to making my 2017 album. Originally I was making this album scrapbook style, but now I'm thinking I may just put photos in (and a few stickers because I can't stop myself).

Start working on my 2017 Photo Album

Once I have finished my 2016 album, I want to start working on my 2017 photo album. This is a real process for me as I have to go through all the photos I've taken throughout the year, look for photos other people have taken of us together, and pick out the best ones to put in a folder on my computer. Normally I would order prints of them and then put them in a photo album, but I'm thinking I may just put them all on a Shutterfly photo book instead. My friend makes them all the time and hers always look good, so I'm thinking this may be the easy way.

Blog better and more

At one point last year I was blogging 4 times a week - crazy! As I mentioned earlier though, my last semester of college was STRESSFUL and since August the number (and quality) of posts I've published has fluctuated a lot. 

The past 5 months I've been focusing more on creating good quality blog posts, even if that means cutting back on the number of times a week I publish new posts. At the moment, it's one post a week which seems pitiful in comparison to how much I was posting at this time a year ago. I have to remind myself I'm in a totally different position than I was a year ago, but I'd like to work back up to blogging more often and keeping my posts high quality so I can be happy with the posts I share. 

Of course there's a lot more that goes into blogging than just writing posts so I also want to start responding to comments more often (they really mean so much!) and being more active on my social media.

Work out regularly

To be honest, I have not been happy with my body for a while. My unhappiness is really about my weight and while I know weight doesn't matter, I'm not happy at the size I'm currently at.  So I have started to work out a few times a week and it's already making me feel more confident. I'm going to try and change up my work out routine every couple weeks and to make my work outs gradually more intense. The biggest thing is sticking to it, so here's to hoping I make working out a part of my routine.

Be More Creative

Being creative is something I consider to be an important part of who I am and is something I really enjoy doing. However, I haven't devoted much time to being creative in the past few months. So now I'm trying to be more creative everyday through decorating my bullet journal, joining a 52 week challenge on Instagram, blogging, and making more things like cards and art prints.

Those are the personal projects I'm currently thinking about. Do you have any personal projects? Any tips on the ones I'm working on? Let me know in the comments!